Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “Voters to Decide Fate of Pro-Minimum-Wage-Hike Candidates,” by Max Kutner. (Read the full version – subscription required.).

Following is an excerpt:

With early voting underway in many states in the midterm elections and regular voting around the corner, voters are weighing whether to elect federal candidates who have campaigned on platforms that include raising the nationwide minimum wage.

Of the Democratic senators who are seeking reelection, a handful have included in their campaigns support for a higher federal wage floor than the current rate of $7.25 an hour, which has not changed since 2009. The majority of states have higher statewide wage floors than the federal rate.

And in races in which Republican senators are seeking reelection, none of those incumbents mentioned minimum wage in their platforms, while the vast majority of their Democratic challengers have indicated support for a higher wage floor.

The issue has also come up in some of the most competitive House races, with Democratic incumbents and newcomers both talking about the minimum wage issue.

"It's not at all surprising that for many of the Democratic candidates, a minimum wage increase at the federal level would be an item on their agenda," said Epstein Becker Green's Paul DeCamp, who led the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division under President George W. Bush. "This is a popular issue within the Democratic Party."

Here, Law360 looks at how federal candidates are talking about minimum wage. …

Wage Floor A Topic In Heated House Districts

House candidates are also addressing minimum wage in their campaigns.

In nine House races that are widely considered to be among the most competitive, at least five Democratic candidates have campaigned around raising the minimum wage or mentioned their past support for doing so.

Those candidates are in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, California's 22nd Congressional District, Florida's 13th Congressional District, Oregon's 5th Congressional District and Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. …

None of the Republicans in those races appear to mention minimum wage in their platforms.

That is consistent with the Republican position, Epstein Becker Green's DeCamp said.

"The overall Republican stance on minimum wage has for a long time been relatively cool to the idea of raising the minimum wage," DeCamp said. "There is a broadly held economic view on the Republican side … that minimum wage is not a particularly helpful or useful or effective tool as a matter of economics."

Other Issues Take Precedent

There are many issues on voters' minds, which could explain why not all Democratic candidates have mentioned it, wage and hour observers said. …

"This issue of minimum wage is certainly one that any candidate will want to think about strategically," DeCamp said. …

Whether the midterms change the makeup of Congress in a way that makes raising the federal wage floor more likely is another matter.

DeCamp said, "The range of plausibly achievable outcomes in the Senate is pretty broad at this point, in terms of Democrat control, Republican control or something that may take several weeks after the election to even figure out."


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